With the majority of the media hosted at the slick waterfront hotel, Macq01, all David Jones staff, and external PR weren’t treated to the same luxury accommodation – opting for a more price-friendly lodging. However, it was the DJs designers whose noses were really out of joint, describing their accommodation more like a prison cell than a hotel.
“The windows don’t open and the walls are paper thin!” one fashionista said of their Hobart digs.
Yet the acrimony didn’t end there for the 16 designers, flown in from far and wide for the event, with claims of favouritism with a clear hierarchy among the brands.
“Guess who isn’t staying at the shitty accommodation?” they spilled during Tuesday evenings Art of Fashion cocktail party at MONA. “Carla Zampatti and Bianca Spender … of course they’re treated like royalty.”
Designers Alexandra and Genevieve Smart of Ginger and Smart were also believed to be staying at Macq01.
Sticking to a strict timetable, guests were couriered to and from events at MONA via various means of transport such as a private car, coach and the MONA ROMA II ferry – depending on how high you ranked on the importance scale.
Understandably, DJs ambassadors Adam Goodes and Cameron Robbie were treated to a private car service when greeted at Hobart airport on Monday evening. Yet it was Vogue Australia‘s editor-in-chief Edwina McCann who had tongues wagging when she was ushered on to a coach just like the rest of the media pack.
“She’s the most influential woman in fashion in Australia – you’d think they’d get her a car service,” scoffed a passenger.
Wednesday’s return flight back to Sydney was jam-packed with models, designers, media and plenty of David Jones garment bags. It was noted by many that the only two parties from the DJs contingent sitting at the pointy end of the plane were models Gomes and Lee while fellow model Cameron Robbie slummed it at the back with the rest of us.
But one particular highlight from 30,000 feet was seeing Carla Zampatti commit the ultimate inflight crime and dash to the toilet barefoot!
The writer travelled to Hobart as a guest of David Jones.
Bank values pink dollar
It’s been a bad week to be a banker, writes Helen Pitt, with Commissioner Kenneth Hayne delivering his damning report into the industry, with three of the big four banks referred for “further action” for potentially criminal conduct. This did not deter one of the big four, ANZ from launching a charm offensive to lure the “pink dollar” in the lead-up to the kick-off next week of Sydney’s Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.
ANZ, whose chief executive Shayne Elliott, spent some of Monday morning selling The Big Issue outside the bank’s Melbourne headquarters, was one of the banks, along with the Commonwealth and NAB, to receive a rap over the knuckles from Commissioner Hayne. As the nation’s third-largest bank, ANZ has been a major Mardi Gras sponsor since 2007, and in 2014 became principal partner. It has an on-staff Pride committee and has for several years sponsored the transformation of inner Sydney ATMs into dazzling GAYTMs.
For many years now the ATMs of Oxford Street have been decorated, often bejewelled by hand in rhinestones, sequins, studs, leather, denim and fur, at the bank’s expense.
But this year the financial institution’s focus is Oxford Streets in regional Australia – to bring the
“inclusivity and celebration of Mardi Gras to regional Oxford Streets across the country”, a press release says. The bank, despite being plagued by other more pressing internal problems as outlined by Commissioner Hayne, has commissioned research around inclusivity and discrimination within different areas of society – in regional areas, from schools to sporting clubs. The results are expected to be ready in time for an unveiling at Sydney’s Oxford Street around February 21.
The bank is understood to be in negotiations with potential ambassadors such as drag queens Courtney Act, (2018 winner of Celebrity Big Brother), Daniel Whitthaus, gay author and CEO of the National Institute of Challenging Homophobia Education (NICHE), and “Farmer Dave”, the former Big Brother contestant Dave Graham who is also known as “the gay cowboy”, to share their own stories of homophobia in regional Australia.
Jessica Louise Origliasso, singer songwriter from the pop duo The Veronicas who grew up in Queensland was also said to have been approached to participate. The bank is also exploring a potential partnership with Google Maps to track the Oxford Streets throughout Australia, which will be the focus for the research. And no doubt a distraction from the 76 recommendations from the Hayne royal commission into misconduct in banking and financial.
Elsa Pataky causing a stir at school pickup
Despite being Byron Bay royalty, Chris Hemsworth and wife Elsa Pataky are just like the locals when it comes to school duties. The couple’s twins, Tristan and Sasha, four, started kinder last week and Spanish beauty Elsa has become a hot topic amongst parents.
“She’s so beautiful, I can’t wait to do school pickup!” reveals a fellow school parent, adding the other dads are begging their wives to do the school run in a bid to get a glimpse of the petite Spanish beauty. The source also confirmed Chris, 35, is yet to be seen at the school gates, having only recently returned this week from filming on location in India and Thailand for upcoming Netflix film Dhaka.
Driving force behind marriage equality split
Tom Snow and Brooke Horne, the driving force behind the two-year campaign for marriage equality, have split.
In recent weeks the Sydney-based couple has told friends that they are separating because of irreconcilable differences.
Snow and Horne sprung to national prominence in 2017 when they backed the push for same-sex marriage with their time and money. Snow is the son of Canberra Airport owner Terry Snow whose personal fortune is valued at close to $2 billion by Forbes. Indeed, Snow is in the midst of writing a book about his experiences managing the campaign.
The campaign was a great success and both men were honoured at last year’s Australian Philanthropy Awards.
However, sources familiar with the breakup say it put serious pressure on the relationship.
They add Snow’s heavy workload and travel schedule, which included many trips to Canberra to meet with MPs and staffers, was a factor.
Sydney’s never short of a celebrity
Microsoft founder Bill Gates learnt a lesson in Australian customer service when he popped into a barber in Double Bay for a short-back-and-sides.
The billionaire was waiting patiently for his turn when he asked the hairdresser if he minded his customer popping out for a mugachino.
The barber, whose clientele includes Sydney’s political and commercial elite, told Mr Gates he was free to grab a caffeine hit so long as he didn’t mind going to the back of the queue.
Meanwhile, the bankers at the Millionaire’s Factory were graced with the presence of Sir Lynton Crosby, political strategist for the Liberals and UK Tories.
Never afraid to play the dog whistle during election campaigns, Sir Lynton, otherwise known as the Kid from Kadina was seen going into lunch with Macquarie Bank head honchos at its Martin Place headquarters.
Fresh from helping Theresa May almost lose the 2017 election, Sir Lynton appearance at the Silver Doughnut seems exquisitely timed to coincide with the Brexit crisis.
Lucy Manly is a reporter and gossip columnist for The Sydney Morning Herald and Sun-Herald.
Helen Pitt is a journalist at the The Sydney Morning Herald.